Having climbed most of the well-know classics several times, we peruse the guidebooks hoping to find a long climb we haven't done yet. We get our mind set on La Cierta Edad, a 5.10 multipitch that is recommended in Joanne Urioste's supplement to the Red Book. It turns out to be a really good climb! Felt pretty hard for the grade… unusual for RR.
After a rest day, we go cragging at Willow Springs. We climb "Ragged Edges", a classic 5.8 offwidth and "Plan F", a 5.10 finger crack with a hard exit next to "Ragged Edges".
On October 15, we go do another long and fun moderate, Frigid Air Buttress.
The next day the weather is bad: low, dark clouds and a stiff wind. We get up late and give up on climbing for the day. We check the forecast: no improvement expected until Wednesday or Thursday. We cannot stay here and waste 5 days of our 14-day maximum just looking at bad weather. We decide to leave and come back at the end of the week. But where to? Five days is just not enough to go very far, like Bishop or Prescott for example. Not excited at all a bout J-Tree either; we just don't like the climbing there.
After refilling our water tanks, we finally leave 13-mile campground at 2 PM and park the bus for a while at the large dirt pullout at the exit of the scenic loop. We drive the jeep around for a while, looking for options for the bus. We ask at the Bonnie Spring Motel… they won't let us park there. Nothing else looks promising around Blue Diamond. Gone are the days where you could park at Black Velvet or by the mine for days on end and for free...
We stop by the visitor center in the loop to ask about other camping opportunities around the area. There's a state park 30 miles North of Vegas that sounds pretty good: the Valley of Fire State Park. We'll head in that direction. Their campground is $14/night. There are also many other camps at Lake Mead nearby for $10/night. It takes us about an hour and a half to get to within a mile of the state park. It's really out in the boons: good! We find a big pullout by the small road to spend the night. It's BLM land: free camping, and a pretty nice spot as well!
After a couple of days there working on the website and updating our resumes (we'll have to think about getting back to work soon), we drive back to 13-mile campground. Later that evening, as we're having dinner, our friend Clay knocks on our door! What a great surprize! (We had met Clay and Donna at City of Rocks. They were just beginning a road trip themselves). We end up sharing a site with them as the campground is full.
On October 26, I have some mixed news from work. It's the beginning of the fiscal year and it's a bad time to come back as project funding is in limbo. People I made contact with at the lab don't want me to visit quite yet. My leave of absence is extended for another 6 months. I guess we're continuing the trip! We leave Las Vegas mid-afernoon, direction Prescott, AZ.
Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, NV
|Doubling up with our friends Clay and Donna in a very busy campground.|
|Red Rocks escarpment.|
|Eric leading the great chimney pitch of La Cierta Edad (5.10, 6 pitches).|
|Lucie leading Ragged Edges (5.8).|
|Eric on Plan F (5.10), next to Ragged Edges.|
|Lucie on the fun 5.7 chimney of Frigid Air Buttress (5.9+, 11 pitches).|
|Waiting out a low pressure system near the Valley of Fire state park|
|Rock formations near the Valley of Fire.|
|Watching climbers on "Ixtalan" (5.11, 3 pitches).|
|Lucie leading the first pitch of Wholesome Fullback (5.10, 2p).|
|The Black velvet Wall, home of some of Red Rocks' great classics.|
|Lucie on The Gobbler (5.10, 3 pitches), a great direct start to Dream of Wild Turkeys.|